This is a Journal of my struggle to control all the STUFF that finds it's way into my home. I don't want to be the "keep this for me" person anymore!
Clutter is nothing more than delayed decision making. So take two seconds to put the cap back on the toothpaste and put it where it belongs…NOW!
A to-do list is nothing more than a way of taking 30 minutes to find and read the note that tells you to use those two seconds to put the cap on the toothpaste and put it where it belongs. Of course you do have to find the to-do list before you can read it.
Even the most organized person can become complacent and tell them self “oh, I’ll remember that” rather than write something down. Yeah, this might be true for a young uncluttered mind. A young mind is still fairly empty and still organized enough that it’s easy to remember lots of little tasks. A young mind is still learning and doing. It hasn’t filled up yet.
A senior mind is pretty much full. A senior mind has spent a lifetime of adventures and creating memories to keep inside the space our brain holds. Our brain is like a computer isn’t it? Computers have a limited amount of space. As far as I know we can’t add more memory space to our brains like you can with a computer.
Somewhere in our middle age we start to experience little losses of memory. Something we forgot to do when we were supposed to do it. We suffer a scheduling system failure. When that happens someone might see us smacking our self on the forehead saying DUH!
Those little losses of memory are our mind’s way of telling us, or rather screaming at us, “Insufficient space! You are about to run out of bytes of memory. Make room now!” That’s when we start to use little memory aids to help us remember our important tasks.
Senior minds prefer to use our brains to hold our most precious and important things we really want to remember. We hold onto the stories from our childhood so we can tell them to our grand children. We hoard away memories of times with our own grand parents so we can pass them to the future generations. We tell stories about how there were no computers or iPads or tablets back then. We explain things like how milk didn’t come from a plastic jug in a store, it came from cows. When a child says “Na Na, you really had to do THAT to the cow to get milk?” We can reply yes we did. When a great grand asks us how we know all those things we can say “we know because we were there”. The children may not remember exactly the stories as told to them but they will certainly remember we told great stories.
Eventually we seniors start using more and more aids to help us with our difficult to remember tasks. We create notes on pieces of paper and stick them in places where we will be sure to see them. Eventually we come across a “mind system failure”. Our minds have forgotten an important task despite all the notes stuck all over the place.
Yes we write notes in all kinds of ways just to help us because our brains are already full enough hoarding all those stories. Golly gee, before we know it, we need notes to help us remember what our notes mean. For example; don’t ask me what my note written in red means because I haven’t a clue. It appears to be a chemical something or other but I don’t have the foggiest idea what it is or why I wrote it down. Maybe I’ve accidently discovered a new kind of senior shorthand and don’t remember it. For me the color red means very important to remember. You see how well that worked don’t ya? Green was anything to do with finances or green living. Blue for…..Hmm…. I guess color coding notes is not working now either. I can never find the right color pen at the right time.
So what is a household manager book? It’s a place where you can store all those undecipherable notes and to-do lists before you ignore them completely. But still, a household manager book is a very useful memory tool providing it’s kept in plain sight and used about a thousand times a day. It neatly corrals things like birth dates of very important little people. It tells me when the doctor told me I needed my next flu shot. Why heck, the household manager book even tells me what my stomach will want to eat next Thursday evening. My household manager book helps me keep track of all those schedules, lists, work to do, requirements, wants, problems, complications, cravings, and other things that are demanding I fix, cook, clean, wash, mend, help, walk, schedule, renew, and clean up after. Continually, 24 hours a day. Which has only gotten harder to remember as I grew older.
If you decide you need to start using a household manager book be sure you make it in a way that is most helpful for YOU. What fits me may not be anything like what you would need. I’ll be explaining the things in my household binder a post at a time as often as I’m able. Please remember this…..
No organizing system will work if you don’t use it!